After taking time during the off-season to work on his program, Ryan Kimball came out of the box strong, winning the first Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Parks Late Model feature on Saturday night at Sunset Speedway.
The speed of the No. 29 The Landing Strip, For Your Eyes Only, GTA Racing, Flagship Properties, SMG Motorsports entry was there right from the start, as Kimball was quickest in time trials at 15.058 seconds. 2015 Sunset Speedway Champion Taylor Holdaway was second quickest (15.071), followed by Jordan Latimer (15.140), Dwayne Baker (15.159), and Gord Shepherd (15.170).
Rick Spencer-Walt qualified sixth, followed by Lane Zardo, Billy Zardo, Mike Bentley and Chris Morrow. Ron Quesnelle started 11th, followed by Nick Goetz, Travis Hallyburton, Danny Benedict, Paul Maltese, Al Inglis, Mike Wilkinson, Thayne Hallyburton, Ernie Fumerton, Brittney Gresel, Kendra Adams and Mike Meyer.
From the drop of the green flag, Kimball grabbed the early advantage while Holdaway and Baker went side-by-side for second. Baker got the spot on Lap 3 ahead of Holdaway, with Shepherd and Latimer rounding out the top-five. Spencer-Walt ran second, with the Zardo brothers side-by-side for seventh at Lap 5.
Lane got the spot three laps later, with Bentley slipping through to move up to eighth. Bentley got alongside Lane for seventh on Lap 9, with the pair remaining side-by-side till the caution flew for Maltese spinning Quesnelle in turn two.
The restart saw contact between Kimball and Baker, with Baker putting the No. 48 ZANCOR CUSTOM HOMES, NISCO NATIONAL LEASING, G.D COATES USED CAR SUPERSTORE, WILD WING OF BARRIE SOUTH, CLEARVIEW HEATING, FOUR VALLEYS EXCAVATING Late Model out front with Kimball in his tracks. Behind them, Spencer-Walt got alongside Shepherd for third, completing the pass on Lap 14.
The battle for the lead continued to heat up, with Kimball getting alongside Baker on Lap 15. The pair ran side-by-side for the next five laps, with Kimball taking the top spot with 15 laps to go. Unfortunately, the pair were unable to continue to battle as Baker was forced pit side after receiving a mechanical black flag from the officials.
As a result, Shepherd moved up into second with Bentley and Morrow now rounding the top-four. Goetz ran fifth, with Holdaway now alongside Spencer-Walt for sixth. As they continued to battle, Morrow looked to make his move, getting alongside Bentley for third at Lap 24.
At the front of the field, Kimball continued to lead ahead of Shepherd, with Morrow clearing Bentley for third at Lap 27. Goetz held down the fifth spot with Holdaway sixth ahead of Spencer-Walt, Travis Hallyburton, Latimer and Billy Zardo. The event was filled with battles, as Hallyburton got alongside Spencer-Walt for seventh with five laps to go, while Goetz got alongside Bentley a lap later for fourth. Goetz got the spot with a couple laps to go, getting alongside Morrow for third on the white flag lap.
Ryan Kimball snagged the victory ahead of Gord Shepherd, Nick Goetz, Chris Morrow and Mike Bentley. Taylor Holdaway finished sixth, followed by Travis Hallyburton, Rick Spencer-Walt, Jordan Latimer and Billy Zardo.
“I can’t say enough about my guys,” Kimball said in victory lane. “Sean gave me a wicked car. These guys worked their tail off the past few weeks. I have the best crew in the business.”
Lane Zardo finished 11th, followed by Mike Wilkinson, Paul Maltese, Ron Quesnelle, Brittney Gresel, Ernie Fumerton, Al Inglis, Danny Benedict, Thayne Hallyburton and Kendra Adams.